Though Kazmierczak already had taken his own life by the time Grady and his officers arrived at Cole Hall, many publicly praised the chief's swift response and willingness to risk his life by entering the auditorium. They also commended his officers for their first-aid training, which the chief required as part of his crisis preparedness planning.
Harold Ng, who was shot in the back of the head as he was fleeing the classroom, believes the police department's much-lauded response will be Grady's enduring legacy at NIU. When compared to glaring errors made during the Virginia Tech massacre a year earlier, the NIU officers' response was fast, well-executed and put student safety first, he said.
"Whether it was Grady or his officers, they handled the situation very, very well," said Ng, who returned to NIU after the shootings and graduated with a communications degree in 2010. "They did a great job and, in the aftermath, they made sure that students felt safe. That's what you would want."